Fine Gael Senator calls for the dissolution of the HSE

Fine Gael Senator calls for the dissolution of the HSE

Senator Tim Lombard also called on HSE chief Tony O’Brien to “do the honourable thing and resign” over the cervical cancer scandal. Pic: Larry Cummins

A CORK Fine Gael Senator has said that the government needs to consider dissolving the HSE as the public no longer has confidence in it.

Senator Tim Lombard also called on HSE chief Tony O’Brien to “do the honourable thing and resign” over the cervical cancer scandal.

Speaking to the Evening Echo, he said that the HSE has been scandal-ridden since its inception, and no longer has the confidence of the public.

He said that Ireland was moving towards a well-funded, effective health service, but the “legacy issues” of the HSE are now standing in the way.

“We have crisis after crisis after crisis. This goes right back to when it was first set up by Micheál Martin. We have never been able to solve the management problems. Now is the time to do something drastic,” he said.

Calling on Mr O’Brien to formally resign Mr Lombard said that the “credibility of the HSE is more important than one person.”

Mr O’Brien’s contract as director of the HSE is set to end in July, and it been confirmed that he will leave the post earlier by taking a number of weeks of accumulated leave. However, there have been calls for him to resign from the post immediately.

Yesterday, the Cabinet approved the terms of a scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck screening programme.

The group, which was approved by a cross-party group last week, will seek to set out the facts of the failures and set out what is needed to address the deficiencies in the programme.

It will be chaired by Dr Gabriel Scally, a UK-based public health official with significant experience in these types of inquiries. He will report back by the end of next month.

The terms of the inquiry will see him investigate the standard of testing, how tenders were awarded, who had information on incorrect tests and how it was communicated, and why women were not told about their flawed tests.

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